Twitter Lists: The Worst UX Ever?

Earlier in the year, a UX designer left Google for Twitter. His blog post detailing his reasons why generated a furver in the websphere, the general reaction being Google doesn’t get design, but Twitter did.

Anyway, that’s the impression that it left with me at least. Heck, I knew I frustrated the UX designer I worked with, with my waving of the “Data! Data! Data!” flag, so I could see another designer being frustrated. Might he be right? I personally suck at design, after all.

Which is why so surprised when I tried to actually use Twitter’s new feature, lists.

It’s not that it’s bad. It’s terrible.

Like awful awful. Seriously terrible.

Seriously, it’s one of the most dysfunctional things on the web since Scribd launched. It’s like one guy had been cranking out all those shitty Geocities pages, and when it shutdown, he decided his next project would be Twitter lists.

It was one of the occasions, where you wonder if anyone actually used it before it launched?

It’s that bad.

Now, the idea is sound. A really good one, even. In fact, that’s what lead me to discover how terrible the UX is. I wanted to use it.

Some geeks & I are on a mailing list. Someone started a thread about Twitter, handles started to be shared, and soon a list created. A list list, not a twitter list. Well, not yet anyway.

But that’s what occurred to me. I should just create a twitter list of these guys & then everyone can just follow that. Easier for everyone!

So I head over to Twitter, create my list, copy/paste my list of Twitter homies and *boom* problem solved. Yay, Twitter!

Only, you can’t do that. Oh, you can create the list. But adding more than one at a time? Sorry, Charlie. After all, why would you want multiple people on a list? Apparently Twitter things we’re creating lists of one.

I’m half-OCD with lists, but even with me, lists of one is pretty strong. A “mom” list. A “dad” list. And so on. Luckily, I’m not the girl from Mama Mia.

So you have to search for each one. One-by-one. Each one. Even if you already know the handle!

To boot, you can’t just search by handle only. It searches everything. One of your entries have a handle that’s some generic, say “bill.” Well, lucky you, you get to dig through @BillCosby, @renewabill, “Bill Smith”, and so on until you find your entry.

Okay, so you do that. Now you want to add yourself. So you search for your handle. After all, lucky you, your handle is pretty unique (and awesome), so only one result should match.

Only you get none.

Apparently, you can’t search for yourself. So can’t add yourself.

So how the @#&$ do you add yourself to a list?? I really can’t add myself?

At this point I’m starting to suspect retarded web monkeys are out to get me again.

Whatever. My list is done. I send it out.

A short bit later, a few more people respond. More handles to add to the list. Okay, no problem.

I click the list. I look for the add button. Not there.

I click the edit button. Not there.

I click an empty list I created and the add-people thingie is at the bottom. Ah, I have to page down to the bottom. Fair enough.

I page down. Not there.

WTF!? Am I not logged in? I am. Was I logged in before? No, it let me edit the damn list. I had to have been.

I try again anyway. Not there.

This HAS to be possible! For crying out loud, I’m a 36 year old man. I’m an engineer. I’ve worked at Yahoo & Google. I’ve been online for 19 years. I love puzzles, even! I even know how to set the clock on a VCR! Yet I can’t figure this out.

I feel utterly defeated.

I give up & google it. I discover you have to click over to “Find People”, find them again, then click the middle icon, then select the list. Right. Totally obvious.

It turns out you can add yourself too. Click your lists of tweets & then you’ll get the little icon. Because the way you add yourself should be totally different from how you add everyone else, right?

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